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#FreeMelania: A Ridiculous Trend—But Have You Seen the Video?

I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.

This article will examine the now-famous video of Melania Trump looking unhappy after smiling at her husband.

This article will examine the now-famous video of Melania Trump looking unhappy after smiling at her husband.

The Terrible Video

On its surface, the video that surfaced that ultimately caused #FreeMelania to be trending in a big way on social media is not exactly the worst thing to ever be seen on the internet. A simple interaction. No big deal, right?

President Trump turns, smiles at his beautiful wife, and the second he turns back, her smile fades. Nothing that unusual, right?


We don't expect anyone we smile at to maintain that smile for time immemorial because that would be incredibly weird. We expect that a smile would very gradually fade, and someone's expression would return to its usual static state.

The speed at which Melania's smile fades struck me hard. It occurred to me then that this was a woman who was in the performance of a lifetime, and she is quite probably stuck.

I realize there has been so much said already about the #FreeMelania topic, and I understand that Melania is a very public figure and as a result, every move she makes is going to be dissected piece by piece. I'm not necessarily fond of that idea, although I've been known to write a fair bit about people in the public eye over the years.

I've also made it clear that President Donald Trump is not my most favorite person on the planet. No one should be shocked by that, and everyone has the right to like or dislike who they want without fear of reprisal.

With those caveats in place, I know enough about people to know that something is deeply wrong—Melania had that written all over her face. The rapid fade of the smile, the downcast eyes, the almost-frown—all of that body language adds up to something, and even though I understand there have been several releases saying that she loves her man and believes in him—even through Pussygate, when he got caught on a hot mike in a very debauched conversation with then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush—there is something very off about her behavior on what should be one of her happiest days. The man she loves, after all, has just become President of the United States. She and he should be dancing in the streets, and she should be looking as though she's on top of the world, not like she wanted to jump off its edge.

What If?

My question is: If the First Lady is unhappy in her relationship with President Trump, why in God's name has she been putting on the show of a lifetime? The images that have been splashed all over the media of her clearly unhappy expression are indicative that something was going on that day, miserable weather in Washington on that day aside.

Yes, President Trump is not unknown as a man who has gone through a divorce or two. He's struggled in his personal dealings with women. The First Lady is incredibly gorgeous, and she's made her way on occasion through various media circuses throughout the year. The press has made it very clear that she would be very capable of supporting herself—she was, after all, a model prior to her connections with President Trump. She is still gorgeous, and could probably acquire modeling gigs if things got tight, not to mention the support she would receive from President Trump if they split, given their underage son Barron.

But this is all speculation. I am merely concerned because if she is in a situation that is unhappy, she has every right to leave. She certainly also would not be the first woman to stay with someone that she's unhappy with. She could leave; President or not, she could still leave him. She might not find it easy to do so, but it's an option that's on the table.

President Trump is also ridiculously wealthy—certainly, he has more money than I will ever see as a writer or a teacher. Money can be incredibly motivating for people to stay in their relationships.

But power can be a very attractive mistress, and as First Lady, she wields her own fair share of power. Her husband is also now the President. Who could bring themselves to leave that sort of relationship where you essentially have the world in your hands?

It's a big question, and one that's not easily answered for some.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


RTalloni on January 25, 2017:

One could make assumptions about the video of him turning around to speak to her by both asking if it was doctored and saying that from the one shown here she enjoyed what he said but then perhaps realized that he would be attacked for turning away from the speaker. The thing is, it all would be an assumption. It could be just as true that she had a severe migraine. I well know the look you speak of, too, but in the second video her frank words about her husband and their relationship lead me to believe that she does not fear him.

It was unkind of the interviewer in the second video to bring up and focus only on the bad things people say about her husband. We may not like all of her husband's behaviors, but he is her husband and she evidently loves and admires him. She was prepared for the question, but it was unkind. She may have thick skin, but that does not mean she has no feelings. She may have endured worse from others, but that's no excuse.

She's evidently brilliant, and she cherishes her family. If she wanted to leave him she could tell him so in a few languages. I know nothing more about this trend called ridiculous than what is written here but the bottom line is that assumptions are never wise and most of the time they are unkind.

Please accept my apologies for irritating you as I only wanted to respond to what was proposed in this hub. It seemed that it was opening a discussion for everyone to participate in. To say that she and her son have been treated unkindly for who they are is to put it mildly, but I did not mean to offend you.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on January 25, 2017:

sorry...i missed the part of anyone here being unkind to her or her son....?? and that look on her face speaks volumes. a look many of us unfortunately know too well. we are worried because we care.

RTalloni on January 25, 2017:

First, a woman in an abusive situation would not be as honest about him as she has been more than once. This far into such a relationship she would not do it once. That said, it's always dangerous to make assumptions. She could have any number of reasons for a somber expression at times.

Perhaps she is concentrating on numerous things at one time as she tries to both enjoy the moment and understand all that is happening to her life. Perhaps she is trying to absorb everything she is learning about her new role. Perhaps she is coming down with one of the tummy bugs that no one is immune to, or has wrenched her lower back and is struggling to set the pain aside (which would be none of anyone else's business) in order to stay focused on what is important to her at the time.

Perhaps the culture she grew up in still has demands on all her relationships causing her to react at times in ways we can't understand unless we consider this possibility. Perhaps she has received unnerving news about a distant but loved family member at a very inconvenient time. Perhaps she has/is recovering from physical and mental exhaustion exacted on her by snarling wolves trying to destroy her and her family.

Perhaps, having been burned, she is carefully planning out her immediate future, planning to skillfully go forward with the precision of a surgeon at work to do the most good and the least harm. Perhaps she knows something we do not know and is planning to surprise us with just how powerful she really is. There is so much we do not know about her so assumptions are foolish at best.

As for the boy, he's just a kid. People should leave him alone. The cruelty he's already been targeted with is criminal. He's won the heartfelt admiration of many for his late night sleepyhead yawns on election night and his delightful response to his baby nephew (or niece?) as his dad signed documents right after being sworn in. Kindness toward him is called for out of compassion for being caught in the limelight at such a young age, yes, but especially because he's just a kid trying to grow up. To attack him in anyway is beyond deplorable, to make assumptions about him is silliness.

Whatever the situation is, we'll likely learn more about it soon enough, but giving her credit for being a mature women who has learned something along the way and, therefore, has something to offer is a kindness toward her, her family, and ourselves for we may be sorry for a lot of things, but we will never be sorry we were kind.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on January 25, 2017:

i agree. something is wrong. and i happen to believe the stories of abuse by trump. just watching him in debates you could see what a lout he is. she looks miserable...and its worrisome. and the little boy. too much pain everywhere.

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